Yesterday I, apparently along with everbody and their grandma, saw Borat. While I wouldn't go as far as some and proclaim it the funniest movie ever made, I can definitely see where they're coming from. There was hardly a moment during the movie when I wasn't laughing at something.
It was number 1 at the box office this weekend, despite the studio's poor predictions and the fact that it was only playing on a quarter of the screens as every other movie on the top 5 that opened this week. I imagine the studios are pretty wary of internet buzz in this crazy post-Snakes on a Plane world. The difference between Snakes on a Plane's disappointing showing and Borat's huge victory is mainly in the timing. While the hype behind Snakes on a Plane was organic and uncontrollable, Borat's hype was mostly manufactured and tightly cultivated. Snakes' buzz popped out of nowhere, spawned solely from the idea of the movie and was blown to epic proportions by fans. Borat's buzz was created by the creators of the movie, and spread by the fans, mostly through YouTube videos. The reason Snakes' buzz never paid off was that the movie was released months after the buzz had worn off and the joke had gotten old. Had they been able to release it a few months earlier, I guarantee it would have been the huge hit they were expecting. Borat was released right at the crescendo of its hype and is reaping the benefits of good timing. And with a movie this good, word of mouth is only going to make it stronger.